Archive | Musical Ensembles


The Montreal Symphony signed to Decca

Posted on 27 March 2015 by admin

The Montreal Symphony Orchestra (Orchestre symphonique de Montréal, OSM) has signed a five-year contract with Decca, renewing a relationship that dates back three decades. Under the terms of the new arrangement, the OSM and its Music Director Kent Nagano will record two albums this year. This month they have recorded L’Aiglon: Son of Napoleon, an operetta with music by Jacques Ibert (Acts 1 and 5) and Arthur Honegger (Acts 2-4), based on a play by Edmond Rostand that tells the story of Napoleon’s son who was known as L’Aiglon (the eaglet).

In October they will record a programme with a Halloween theme: Ives’s Halloween, Dvořák’s Noonday Witch, Dukas’ Sorcerer’s Apprentice, Balakirev’s Tamara, Saint-Saëns’Danse macabre and Mussorgsky’s Night on the Bare Mountain.

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Choir of Saint Thomas will release 10 album on Resonus Classics

Posted on 17 March 2015 by admin

Thompson, Randall: American Music From Saint Thomas

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Saint Thomas, New York is an Episcopalian church very much in the spirit of the Anglican choral tradition, with a choir of men and boys (the latter attending America’s only church-related residential choir school) under the direction of organist John Scott. Scott took up the post of Director of Music following 14 years at London’s St Paul’s Cathedral, and among the planned Resonus recordings will be solo recitals of Scott playing the church’s Taylor and Boody organ.

The 10 album deal with Resonus Classics will begin with a release of Bach Motets in May, and plans for future releases includeRachmaninov’s Vespers, Fauré’s Requiem,Handel’s Messiah and what Resonus Classics describes as ‘lesser-known works that deserve to be heard’.

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Why Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra is the greatest orchestra

Posted on 13 March 2015 by admin

1 It’s older than all the other UK orchestras. In fact, it’s 175 this year!

The RLPO ‘s origins date back to 1840 and the formation of the Liverpool Philharmonic Society, a group of enthusiastic amateur musicians who initially got together because they loved a good communal sing-song. To celebrate the 175th anniversary of its first performance on March 12 of that year, the RLPO is playing Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony in a concert that will be broadcast live on Classic FM .

Liverpool Philharmonic Hall original

2 It’s not afraid to revisit the 1980s

Over the decades, the RLPO has worked with a truly diverse range of musicians. In June 2009, it backed up 1980’s pop legends Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark who performed their synth-tastic back catalogue at Philharmonic Hall. The hit-laden set positively dripped with classics, including Enola Gay and Joan of Arc.

3 It’s always attracted the most brilliant conductors

The RLPO’s current charismatic Principal Conductor, Vasily Petrenko , follows on from a distinguished line of maestros who have led the orchestra, including – for three years – the composer of that evergreen, Hall of Fame-topping violin concerto, Max Bruch.

Max Bruch

4 You can find out so much about what you are going to hear

The RLPO offers free pre-concert Classic Intros and post-concert Off the Podium talks and interviews with visiting artists and experts. It’s a great way to get more from the performance. And the talks are free! They’ve even made a selection of Classic Intros available to download and listen to again so you can gen up on the classics.

Listen Again RLPO

5 It champions the best new music

The Orchestra has played many world premieres, including first performances of major pieces by John Tavener , Karl Jenkins andMichael Nyman , alongside works by home-grown Liverpoolcomposers. In 1991, Paul McCartney – in collaboration with Carl Davis – composed his Liverpool Oratorio to commemorate the RLPO’s 150th anniversary.

6 The players get up to all sorts of antics on tour

The Orchestra made its first international tour to Germany and Switzerland in 1966 and now tours widely throughout the UK and internationally, most recently visiting China, Switzerland, France, Spain, Germany, Romania and the Czech Republic. In 2012, after a gig in Pamplona, the orchestra’s ‘Lady Bus’ was the scene of much fun and frivolity as the musicians threw a hen party for one of the violinists. The bubbly flowed for the journey back to the hotel.

7 They let John Suchet play trombone with them

In 2013, Classic FM’s John Suchet was invited to rediscover his genius for the trombone and play with the RLPO at SuperConcert! – an event where the orchestra invites players of a Grade 4 standard and above to perform with them. Reportedly the boy done good.

John Suchet trombone

8 It wins loads of awards

Every year the classical music world recognises the brilliance of the RLPO with a host of awards. In 2011, its album of Shostakovich’s Symphony No.10 was the Gramophone Awards Orchestral Recording of the Year. And Principal Conductor Vasily Petrenko keeps on getting gongs for being brilliant too.

9 It invests in the future of music

The RLPO has been devoted to working with schools and the community since the 1940s, when Sir Malcolm Sargent first introduced a concert series for schools. Today, the RLPO Learning programme reaches more than 22,000 local children and young people.

RLPO schools

10 The RLPO was the first UK orchestra to enter into a partnership with Classic FM

In 2001, Classic FM and the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic announced a partnership that saw the Orchestra named ‘Classic FM Orchestra in North West England’ and the station’s first arts partner. In 2010 the Orchestra’s relationship with Classic FM was winner of the Sustained Partnership Award in the 32nd BP Arts & Business Award.

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Gramophone’s top 10 recordings of the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra

Posted on 19 December 2014 by admin

Choosing 10 of the finest recordings by the BPO is, of course, impossible, but here are 10 that simply demand to be heard…

No 1

Brahms Ein deutsches Requiem

BPO / Sir Simon Rattle

(Warner Classics)

‘This is a lovely performance, free-moving and sweetly sung’

No 2

Bruckner Symphony No 8

BPO / Günter Wand


‘This new Eighth is exceptionally fine’

No 3

Haydn Symphony No 88

BPO / Wilhelm Furtwängler


‘Definitely one to rush out and buy’

No 4

Mahler Symphony No 6

BPO / Claudio Abbado


‘I can’t remember hearing a tauter, more refined performance than this’

No 5

Mahler Symphony No 9

BPO / Herbert von Karajan

DG (live recording)

‘Karajan’s 1982 performance remains a remarkable one’

No 6

Mahler Symphony No 10

BPO / Sir Simon Rattle

(Warner Classics)

‘Rattle’s new version sweeps the board’

No 7

Prokofiev/Ravel Piano Concertos

Martha Argerich (pf) BPO / Claudio Abbado


‘Defying criticism’

No 8

Puccini La bohème

BPO / Herbert von Karajan


‘Perhaps the best thing Pavarotti has ever done’

No 9

R Strauss Tod und Verklärung. Metamorphosen

BPO / Herbert von Karajan


‘A clear first-choice in both works’

No 10

Wagner Parsifal

BPO / Herbert von Karajan


‘Seems to grow in statute on each re-hearing’

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